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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[NJ] Crimes & punishment of slaves in NJ

After visiting the exhibit, “Slavery in New York” at the New York Historical Society, I jotted down a few historical notes on slavery in New Jersey while searching for ancestors of black Civil War navy veteran Sylvester Doremus. Information from W.W. Clayton and William Nelson, HISTORY OF BERGEN AND PASSAIC COUNTIES, NJ.

August 16, 1735 – “Negro of Peter Kipp called Jack,” was killed. Jack was burned alive for returning a blow from slaveholder Kipp and threatening his life.

December 14, 1731 – “Negro man, property of Garret Hoppe called Harry,” was killed. Harry was hanged for poisoning “a negro called Sepeo” (Scipio?) as well as for threatening slaveholder Hoppe. The master was paid for the value of his executed slave.

1741 – Two Negroes charged on suspicion of setting fire to seven barns. Both were convicted and burned to death at Yellow Point on the east side of the Hackensack River near the home of Dierech Van Horn (Dietrich?).

Thomas Quack, a “negro belonging to Mary Terhune,” whipped for stealing items from the home of Isaac Kipp, Jr.

African Americans Ned and Pero also accused of stealing.

In 1840 free African-American households in Bergen County, NJ included one headed by Kuff Terhune, possibly a descendant of Thomas Quack, the slave held by Mary Terhune. Other FPOC families were headed by Anthony Doremus, Yan Doremus, Samuel S. Moore, Jacob Harris, and Caesar/Ceasar Monroe.

Personal names of African Americans of 16th-19th centuries include:

Kofi {M} Akan (Ghana, West Africa) name meaning "male born on Friday"; variants Cuff, Cuffie, Coffie; also found as a last name in USA and Caribbean

Kwaku {M} (Kwadwo) Akan (Ghana, West Africa) name meaning "male born on Monday"; variants Quack, Quacku, Quakoo

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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